Compared to 2018, this year's allergy season has been a relative breeze. We haven't seen any horrifying videos of trees exploding with pollen. And most people have adjusted to the warmer air with minimal trouble.
But for many (including this author), allergies remain an ongoing problem, leading to coughing, sneezing and sore throat, well into the summer months. So, unless you choose to stay indoors all summer, we recommend facing allergies head on. And there are FSA-eligible products that can help you get ahead of these summer irritations.
Since Memorial Day is coming up this weekend, let's take a closer look at some items to make things a little easier once cookout season starts.
With so much warmth and humidity in the air each summer, it seems weird that anyone would want a machine that provides more warm, humid air. But the bottom line is that they're a huge help for alleviating summer allergy, cold and flu symptoms.
There are plenty of FSA-eligible steam inhalers for both adults and children that can help open nasal passages, and clear the nasty buildup that causes sore throats and stuffy heads, while also alleviating some of the pain that comes with them.
Hot and cold packs
Sometimes the best way to attack your allergy problems is from the outside in. Through simple hot or cold compresses (which come in a wide range of shapes and styles) people find all-natural relief from sinus headaches, nasal pressure and sore throat pain, just by holding them against the affected areas.
Pain and allergy medications
There's a huge range of allergy medications available that do a good job getting you through stuffy noses, sneezing, scratchy, dry throats and more. And when your sore throat moves beyond comfortable levels, standard pain medications usually do the trick for longer-term relief. To ease things a little more quickly, medicated throat lozenges can make a world of difference, too.
Mattress and pillow covers
There's a chance your ongoing sore throat might actually be coming from inside your house. On top of pollen and other environmental allergens, dust mites also become a bigger problem during spring and summer months. No, it's not a comfortable topic, but these microscopic annoyances thrive in warmer summer weather, and can keep your allergy problems going well into fall.
Anti-allergy mattress and pillow covers put a barrier between you and the dust and germs beneath the surface, and help contain them, to help reduce your symptoms.
Allergies are a topic we cover quite a bit, because they continue to affect many people, long after the "season" ends. Thankfully, there are a lot of products available to make it easier on you all summer long.
If your symptoms don't improve or become more severe, speak with an allergist to ensure medications and treatments are right for your symptoms. To locate an allergist, visit the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website for a list of specialists near you.
Steam inhalers provide pure, therapeutic, warm mist effectively free from germs, allergens, and pollutants.
Hot packs provide long lasting therapeutic heat to relieve minor muscle aches.
From Over-the-Counter tablets to saline spray to nasal rinse, relief from allergies is right around the corner.
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It may only be early Fall, but cold and flu season is slowly becoming a reality all over the U.S. You may be hearing more sneezing around the office or your kids are coming home from school with the sniffles, your risk of catching a virus is certainly heightened during this time of year.
So, if you're dreading that lump in your throat that signals the arrival of an unwelcome cold, your flexible spending account (FSA) can certainly help you prepare! Your FSA covers a huge range of cold and flu products, especially those that can fight nasal congestion. If you feel a stuffy nose coming on, be sure to use your flex dollars on these qualified health products!
- Saline Nasal Wipes
One of the worst side effects of any cold is the dry, inflamed skin around your nose that can form after blowing your nose dozens of times with standard tissues. As cold and flu season kicks off, use your FSA funds to pick up soothing saline nasal wipes that are less abrasive against the skin and moisturize the underlying skin layers as well!
- Neti Pot
Are you looking for a drug-free method to treat nasal congestion? Try saline irrigation! Through the use of an FSA-eligible Neti pot, you can whip up a saline solution with products you already have around the house. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, an effective saline rinse can be made with 1 cup of lukewarm water, 3 teaspoons of iodide-free salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Using a Neti pot, this solution can be flushed through the nasal cavities to remove mucous, allergens and environmental irritants to clear your breathing passages.
- Steam Inhaler
Another great option for those who are not comfortable with the idea of using a Neti pot but still would like a drug-free treatment method can try a steam inhaler! Much like the feeling you have after stepping out from a hot shower, a steam inhaler will clear your passageways with soothing steam that can break down mucous, remove irritants, and help you breathe clearer during the worst of your cold symptoms.
- Eye Mask
Contending with a sinus headache? Having trouble sleeping with your cold? A soothing eye mask is a quick solution! These helpful home treatment products can provide both hot and cold therapy directly to your face to treat headache pain, relieve dark circles under your eyes and help you sleep during the worst of your cold symptoms.
This cold and flu season, use your FSA card to keep your family healthy at FSAstore.com! We have over 4,000 FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your tax-free healthcare funds!
Neti Pot and Supplies
Breathe better instantly with a quick and easy nasal irrigation rinse to clear up congestion and sinus symptoms.
When a sore throat rears its ugly head, it can mean a variety of things. It can be the primary symptom in a bacterial illness like strep throat, or an oncoming cold or flu.
No matter the cause, a sore throat is a nuisance that may be around the corner now with the arrival of cold & flu season. Luckily, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), you can stay a step ahead of the game!
Treat a sore throat with these FSA eligible products:
These helpful devices create a fine mist that is used to penetrate the sinuses, nose and throat to provide relief for the worst cold and flu symptoms. In the case of sore throats, you guessed it, steam inhalers provide heat and moisture to alleviate pain in the throat. This is a type of natural expectorant that can make it easier to expel mucous buildup from your breathing passages to ease your discomfort and put you on the road to recovery. Best of all, a steam inhaler or vaporizer is FSA/HSA eligible!
Shop for MyPurMist Handheld Steam Inhaler
A quick at-home remedy for sore throats is the saltwater gargle, which can reduce swelling in the throat, loosen up mucous and flush any irritants present from the throat. A half of teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water should do the trick - just be sure not to swallow it!
Shop for Boogie Wipes, Saline Nose Wipes
Hot or Cold Therapy
Keep a sore throat and its related pain under control with soothing hot or cold therapy. Hot or cold therapy can provide all types of pain relief, whether it's for sinuses, tense shoulders, headaches and more.
Shop for Adult Hot and Cold Packs
Shop for Thermal-Aid Hot or Cold Therapy Animals for kids
Hot liquids like soup or tea can positively affect the treatment of sore throats by alleviating that dry, scratchy feeling. Not only do hot liquids soothe the throat, but they can help to loosen mucus from post-nasal drip and congestion.
Most often, sore throats are caused by viral infections that cannot be treated by antibiotics. Healthy foods and rest are top priorities and pain management is also important. The primary source of pain is inflamed skin in the throat, so an anti-inflammatory medication can help with that. An over-the-counter, non-steroid anti-inflammatory (NSAID), such as Advil or Aleve, can reduce this swelling and alleviate pain.
The primary purpose of these lozenges is to spark saliva production, which can moisten the throat. Lozenges that contain menthol or eucalyptus can help as they have a cooling or numbing effect.
For the products you need to keep your family healthy year-round, be sure to visit FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products.